Samish Bay Closure Leads to Commercial Shellfish Recall

OLYMPIA, Wash. – State health officials closed Samish Bay to shellfish harvest due to pollution for the second time this month and recalled shellfish harvested from the area since Tuesday.

The closure was imposed after high levels of fecal bacteria were found in the Samish River by Skagit County. The Department of Health protocols require that when fecal bacteria levels are high in the river, the bay must be closed to assure that contaminated shellfish are not marketed.

Shellfish harvested from Samish Bay on Tuesday and Wednesday have been successfully recalled. All of the shellfish harvested on those days have been accounted for and kept out of retail markets and restaurants.

This closure is unusual because it wasn’t triggered by heavy rains or high water flow as were the recent pollution closures on March 10 and April 5. The bay is closed until further notice. The source of the pollution is under investigation.